David Lawrence Shell

Experienced Geologist and Business Leader

About David Lawrence Shell

David Lawrence, a businessman in the oil, gas and energy sector, is a Director of Stone Energy Corporation. He previously served as executive vice president of exploration and commercial with Shell Upstream Americas in Houston, Texas, with responsibilities including functional head of Shell Global Exploration, LNG, gas to transport, acquisitions, divestments, new business development, and wind energy. David Lawrence received his graduate education at Yale University, earning a master of science and Ph.D. in geology. While he was a student, Yale recognized him with the Estwing Award and the Orville Award. He also studied at Lawrence University, where he achieved his bachelor of arts in geology.

An executive engaged in his field, David Lawrence currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. He served the National Ocean Industry Association as a board member and chair of its Membership Committee, was a member of the API upstream committee, and a board member of the Energy and Geoscience Institute. In the past, the businessman has served his community as a trustee with the Business Council of New Orleans, as a board member of the New Orleans United Way, and as a commissioner on the Aspen Arctic Commission. He is the recipient of an API Meritorious Service Award, and the Wallace Pratt award from AAPG.

AAPG Bulletin Features Research in the Geology of Energy Production

Formerly serving as executive vice president of exploration and commercial for Shell Upstream Americas and head of global exploration for Royal Dutch Shell, David Lawrence is currently on the board of directors at Stone Energy Corporation. David Lawrence is also a Wallace Pratt Memorial Award-winning contributor to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Bulletin. A peer-reviewed journal, the AAPG Bulletin publishes research studies on geoscience and its relation to technologies utilized in energy and mineral resource exploration and production.


While the central feature of the Bulletin is the exclusive technical research appearing in the Articles section, each issue also includes several other elements. Brief general interest pieces on contemporary developments in energy resource exploration and geology appear in the E&P Notes and Geologic Notes sections. Whereas the Articles portion of the journal is targeted at an expert audience, Geohorizons papers cover current techniques in energy industry geology for a general readership. The remainder of the Bulletin’s content consists of concise discussions and replies to published articles and memorials to recently deceased professionals in the geosciences community.

Originally named the Bulletin of the Southwest Association of Petroleum Geologists, the AAPG Bulletin has been in publication since 1917. Currently the journal receives partial funding from the AAPG Foundation.

The Threat of Global Warming to Ross Sea in Antarctica

A longtime natural resources exploration and energy executive, David Lawrence emphasized safety and environmental sustainability while working for Shell in various roles throughout his career. These efforts included strengthening safety management systems for global exploration, helping sponsor oil spill response initiatives through the XPRIZE, serving as a Commissioner on the Aspen Institute Commission on Arctic Climate Change and leading the natural gas to transport and wind business in the Americas. While serving on the Upstream Committee of API, Lawrence championed the formation of the Center for Offshore Safety. In 2014, David Lawrence was appointed Chairman of the advisory board of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. The institute organizes a wide range of conferences and research activities and publishes the work of postdoctoral fellows at Climate.yale.edu.

A recent article brought attention to the effects of atmospheric temperature change associated with global warming on Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Widely considered the continent’s most untouched region, the Ross Sea faces the prospect of profound ecological transition, as the length of summer ice-free periods grows longer, with increases of 43 percent and 125 percent expected by 2050 and 2100, respectively. This, in turn, may restrict an annual influx of circumpolar deep water, which is rich in nutrients. How this will affect the region’s intricate food chain is not fully known, but it has the potential to change the type of surface plankton most abundant, which will likely have a significant impact on fish and other animals higher on the food chain.

Comment Stream